Sunday, December 10 2023 - 10:10 PM

Sharing Scripture — July 16, 2022

The Birdcage


For use: July 10 – 16, 2022
Texts: Exodus 14, 15:22-27, 17:1-7; Proverbs 3; Luke 4:1-13; 1 Peter 1:6-9


Have you ever felt completely out of your comfort zone, and trapped, maybe even fighting for your life, all because of a single mistake you made?

Brittney Griner faces up to 10 years in a Russian prison for, as she claims, inadvertently bringing a smoking cartridge into the country where she was to continue her basketball career during the WNBA’s offseason.

Whether or not she intended to “smuggle” less than a single gram of hashish oil into the country, Griner’s case has come to light as this year’s WNBA All-Stars, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Megan Rapinoe, Lakers legend Lebron James, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, and countless others have used their clout to fight for Griner’s release.

Griner’s case is also shining light on the gender pay gap in the United States, as well as gender, race and marriage equality, and what it means to be a celebrity bargaining chip in Russia.

While we await Griner’s fate, and hope that she does not suffer during her detainment, we can pray along with former basketball star Nadine Domond that God is in control, and that this will be used to bring about good.

As we saw in the case of Joseph, God used his captivity to bring about good for both the country of his captivity, and the nation of peoples from which he came. And during the exodus from Egypt, the Israelites found themselves trapped in the desert–once, even pinned against the Red Sea by the Egyptian army. Some suffered temporarily, and some suffered to never see the Promised Land. But God took them there for a reason, and for lessons that we still value today.

Jesus also faced dangers, such as when Satan hounded him for 40 days in the wilderness, and when he was flogged and hung up on a cross.

All this to say, the trials and suffering we face on earth can cause us unhappiness, but they should not deter us from having a deeper joy and hope in salvation through the life, death and resurrection of our loving Creator, Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:3-9).


For Reflection


Connecting: Believers are called to be a light to the world, but are there some entities/groups of people that we should never attempt to influence or interact with? Why?

Sharing: Does God purposely lead us into trials?

  1. Yes, to the glory of God.
  2. No, but the trials can be divinely interfered with to bring about further glory to the Lord.
  3. Sometimes, but not every time.
  4. Wait, if God leads us into trials, does that mean everything is predetermined??
  5. I don’t know. …
  6. Other:

Applying: Who has lost their way after facing trials, and how could you make a positive impression on them and difference in their life to help lead them back?

Valuing: If you could go back in time and re-experience your trials, would you? How would not experiencing them have impacted where you are today?


~ Stefani Leeper
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